Volume 22 June 2008
1. Executive News
This is the final issue of this newsletter prior to WAC-6, which will be held in Dublin 29th June—4th July, 2008. With more than 1,500 pre-registrations this Congress will be the biggest WAC Congress to date. It has a fantastic academic program, and some wonderful cultural events as well, and will be attended from people from between 70 and 80 countries. It promises to be a wonderful event, and I’d like to thank all the organisers, especially the Academic Secretary, Gabriel Cooney, and the Chair of the Program Committee, Blaze O’Connor.
This is an important meeting, not only for itself, but also because we are at a turning point in WAC’s development and growth. A new Executive will be elected at WAC-6 and their tasks will be very different to the tasks of the first WAC Executive. Over the last few years, WAC has expanded enormously. We have implemented new programs, developed a complex and comprehensive website (including a members only section), established a new book series, held Inter-Congresses in countries ranging from Japan and New Zealand to Poland and Argentina, and we now publish an international refereed journal, Archaeologies (co-edited by Anne Pyburn and Nick Shepherd). The situation is very different to what it was in 1986 when WAC was established, or even in 2003 when the current Executive took office.
WAC’s achievements over recent years are largely due to the commitment of a small number of people. As WAC has grown enormously, it is no longer viable for everything to be done by volunteers in their spare time. At WAC-6 we have to make some decisions on how we are going to sustain what we have built without undue personal cost to members of the next Executive, and we have to plan to further our professional development as an organization.
Over the last few months WAC has employed paid consultants, Sarah Dyer and Paul Saeki, to assist us in planning for a sustainable future. One of the key areas they have identified is the need to increase WAC’s organizational capabilities, possibly with the establishment of a WAC secretariat. WAC now has around 1,500 members but we still run on volunteer labour. Archaeological organisations with comparable membership have several paid staff. At WAC-6 we will be considering whether WAC should engage a paid Secretariat to coordinate WAC activities and support members. Establishing a Secretariat is likely to involve an increase in membership fees, so it is not something that we can undertake lightly. However, providing the current level of services on a purely voluntary basis is not sustainable.
Another issue we need to address is that of our relationships with other organizations. WAC has established relationships with publishers and funding bodies, and we are also approached by other organisations, ranging from Indigenous organisations and NGOs to universities and multi-national companies, who wish to develop some form of collaborative engagement. As it stands, we have no policy for engaging with other organisations, and no formal procedures for initiating or responding to these kinds of engagements. Until now, WAC engagements have occurred in an ad hoc and reactive manner, rather than being part of a strategic plan for the furthering of WAC’s overall goals. At WAC-6 we will workshop a formal policy for external engagement.
For those who will not be in Dublin, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss WAC’s governance. While there are a number of archaeological organizations with international membership, WAC is the only archaeological organisation with elected global representation. Its governance structure includes an Executive, a Council and an Assembly.
The WAC Executive consists of Officers elected by the Assembly and four members of the WAC Council, including one Indigenous representative, who are chosen to extend the geographic diversity of the Officers. It also includes some appointed positions such as Membership Secretary and Editors of the WAC journal, Archaeologies.
The WAC Council consists of the WAC Officers, two representatives — one senior and one junior — for each of the fourteen WAC regions, and an additional eight representatives of Indigenous populations.
The WAC Assembly consists of the WAC Council and one representative from each country attending the particular WAC Congress. Since the Assembly is the principle policy-making body of WAC, no country can dominate voting – a country that is economically advantaged and has 300 attendees at a WAC Congress has the same representation as a country that is economically disadvantaged and has only one attendee. This principle of democratic decision-making pervades all aspects of WAC’s governance structure.
The WAC Congresses have an essential role in WAC political processes as it is during these Congresses that WAC members are asked to elect a representative from their nation to represent them in the WAC Assembly. This Assembly, which forms only during WAC Congresses, is the principal policy-making body of WAC. It has responsibility to:
• Decide all matters relating to policy.
• Elect the officers of WAC.
• Determine the venue and organisation of future International Congresses.
The activities at WAC-6 are critical to WAC’s political action, so I hope those members who are able to be in Dublin use the opportunity to discuss and act on those political issues that are of concern to them. Those who are not able to be present can still present their ideas to their regional representatives and ask them to act on their behalf.
Finally, this is the last newsletter of the current Executive and Council. WAC’s ability to assist people in a region is directly linked to the commitment of the Council member for that region so I would like to thank out-going Council members for their contributions over the last eight years. I also welcome in-coming Council members.
I thank the current Executive for their support, hard work and good company over the last five years. While we have faced a number of challenges, we have worked cohesively, even when we did not initially agree on a single course of action. During our tenure we have only come to a vote on two issues (one of which was the location for WAC-6). All other decisions have been made by consensus. Given the diversity of our experiences and views and the diversity of the members we represent, this is remarkable. Working together until they find fair resolutions to whatever challenges arise is testament to the commitment of the Executive members.
In the process, we have had a wonderful time. I hope the next Executive is able to mix purpose, productivity and pleasure in a similar way.
All the best,
Claire Smith, President
2. WAC News
WAC is pleased to announce the launch of the first phase of the WACmembers area on the WAC website. Please visit the WAC website at:
Alternatively, you can click on the “Members Access” link in the sidebar of the home page of the WAC website.
To access your password you need to click on the lost password function and enter your email address. This should automatically send you an email notification verifying whether you want a new password sent out. Click on the link to verify that you wish to be sent a password. This will send another email through with your password. Open the members area log in through your browser:
Then cut paste your password from your email into the password box. Once you have logged in, ignore the error log in message on the righthand side of the screen and click on the Your Profile button on theUser menu. Click on the Edit button and select “update yourprofile”. In the “contact info” tab, enter your new password and save.
Should you have any difficulties, please contact email@example.com
2. (a)WAC-6 News
WAC Student Poster Prize
The WAC Student Poster Prize recognizes the best poster presented by a student at each World Archaeological Congress (every 4 years). The prize is intended to showcase student poster presentation of original research as an integral part of WAC and the future of the discipline of archaeology. All student members of WAC who plan on presenting a poster at WAC-6 are eligible to make an entry for the prize. The posters will be evaluated anonymously by members of the WAC Student Committee (WACSC) based on the following criteria: the quality and depth of scholarship and arguments presented, the significance of contribution to understanding of a particular topic in archaeology, the relevance to the larger goals and interests of WAC, and the effectiveness of the poster’s presentation of the research (including clarity, adherence to format, originality, and aesthetic appeal).
• The 1st Place WAC Student Poster Prize recipient will receive a citation from the WAC Executive and the WACSC (to be officially presented at WAC-6 in Dublin), and a 4-year membership to WAC.
• The 2nd Place WAC Student Poster Prize recipient will receive a citation from the WAC Executive and the WACSC (to be officially presented at WAC-6 in Dublin), and a 1-year membership to WAC.
Posters must be single authored, and the author must be a WAC member. Applicants for the poster prize must be present at the 2008 WAC-6 meeting in Dublin, Ireland. One poster entry per applicant is allowed. Although the WACSC recognizes that there are various presentation formats in WAC sessions, to maintain consistency, we ask that the poster be in English.
Applicants must be registered as student-members of WAC to be eligible.
Deadline for Nomination
June 28, 2008
NOTE: Only the first 30 poster prize applications received before June 28, 2008, will be considered. So, submit your entry information early to ensure your nomination!
Due to the international composition of WAC and the WAC Student Committee, all posters must be submitted in English. Please submit a cover sheet containing the following information:
-WAC membership number (indicated on a receipt of the payment of membership)
-Rank/position and institution
-Title of the poster
-Postal mail and email address
to the following address: WacStudentPosterPrize@gmail.com
3. News from WAC Members
WAC members, Jill Reid and Sean Ulm, Junior Representative for Southeastern Asia and the Pacific, welcomed their daughter Lily Barrngkaa Ulm into the world on Friday 2 May 2008 at 7:59am. Lily weighed 2150g or 4 pounds 12 ounces. Lily was given her language name, Barrngkaa, by Kaiadilt Aboriginal people on Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. It is the Kaiadilt word for the roots of the water lily that abound in the lake at the main settlement of Nyinyilki on Bentinck Island.
DATING PICTOGRAPHS: A NEW NON-INVASIVE, INEXPENSIVE, ONSITE FIELD TECHNIQUE – news from Dr Bryan Gordon, Curator Emeritus, Canadian Museum of Civilization (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pictographs comprise pigments applied as chalk, paint or paste. Despite heavy trampling by the artist, the almost invisible fallen pigment particles released by the artist when he (she) draws, remain in the soil for centuries, and determine where and when the artist stood, or cultural floor. To find this floor, a 20×50 cm slit is scraped with a rectangular masonry trowel in 5-7 mm levels under a pictograph. Each is photofiltered onsite with a digital camera and laptop (Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.Net) using the same RGB colour values as the art, which is completely untouched. Tiny charcoal or plant bits in soil levels with particles are AMS dated, revealing the age of the wall art. Onsite analysis allows immediate horizontal expansion of the cultural layer to find associated features. The method can also be used to date petroglyphs where source rock is absent in the soil. Charcoal dust plumes from cave torches have also been analyzed. It is relatively non-invasive, inexpensive and allows field evaluation by a non-professional.
In March, Dr Gordon tested soils below three pictographs at Hedley near Princeton, British Columbia, and in April, he tested four areas in Baja California at the Montevideo and Las Tinajitas sites. He is currently analyzing them in preparation for a paper to be presented at WAC-6.
Joyce Clements has written to inform us that, Michael Striker will present a paper, Burial Mounds as Material Manifestations of Social Memory in the Eastern Woodlands at WAC-6 in the Materializing Practice I: Making Places, Making Persons session co-hosted by Rosemary Joyce (University of California at Berkeley) and Marta Díaz-Guardamino (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).
Michael is Gray & Pape’s Kentucky Office Branch Manager. Gray & Pape is a cultural resources management firm with Corporate Headquarters in Cincinnati spearheaded by President W. Kevin Pape. Vice-President Cinder Miller (Ph.D. Bryn Mawr, 1995) is expert in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, the American southeast, mid-west, northeast, and mid-Atlantic.
Northeast and Caribbean Regional Manager Raymond Pasquariello (Ph.D. Syracuse University ), researches enslaved African sites in the U.S./British Caribbean. He and Pape hosted Dorrick Gray, Deputy Technical Director of Archaeology for the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, at Cincinnati’s Natural History’s Science Lecture Series (2007).
Joyce (Ph.D. York University) is Senior Principal Investigator at Gray & Pape, researching women’s lives in historical and cross-cultural contexts and will also represent the company at the WAC 6th International Congress, speaking on Feminist Contributions to the Historical Archaeology of New England Colonization.
For more information about Gray & Pape please visit the corporate website at www.graypape.com.
4. New publications by WAC members
John Edward Staller’s edited volume Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin (Published by Springer, NY. 2008, ISBN: 978-0-387-76909-7, e-ISBN: 978-0-387-76910-3) will be available for purchase at WAC-6.
This volume combines research on Pre-Columbian cultures throughout Mesoamerica and South America, examining their constructed monuments and ritual practices. It explores the foundations of these cultures, through both the creation mythologies of ancient societies as well as the tangible results of those beliefs. It offers insight on specific case studies, combining evidence from the archaeological record with sacred texts and ethnohistoric accounts. The patterns developed throughout this work shed insight on the effect that perceived sacredness can have on the development of culture and society. This comprehensive and much-needed work will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists focused on Pre-Columbian studies, as well as those in the fields of cultural or religious studies with a broader geographic focus. The authors of the various papers are Rex Koontz, Carolyn E. Tate, Duncan MacL
ean Earle, Allen J. Christenson, Frauke Sachse, Elio Ortiz, Antonio Mendez, Alejo Zarzycki, Janis B. Alcorn, Richard Lunniss, R. Tom Zuidema, John E. Staller, Frank M. Meddens, Nicholas P. Branch, Cirilo Vivanco Pomacanchari, Naomi Riddiford, Rob Kemp and Brian Stross.
Price: 99.00 USD or 76.95 Euros
Copies can also be purchased from the Springer website:
Title search at www.springer.com or http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/anthropology+%26+archaeology/book/978-0-387-76909-7
5. News Items
Benchmarking Archaeology Degrees in Australian Universities
The second national benchmarking workshop took place in Sydney from 14th –16th May. The workshop was one part of a two-year learning and teaching development project for archaeology in Australian universities, focussing on the benchmarking of Honours, the key degree for both professional practice and higher degree study.
Academic staff representing each Australian university where archaeology is taught were invited to take part, as well as representatives from archaeological associations and consultant archaeologists working in private industry.
The workshop saw the release of the subject benchmark By Degrees: Benchmarking archaeology degrees in Australian universities, which defines the knowledge and skills Honours graduates can be expected to possess, and outlines potential employment areas. The electronic version can be accessed at: http://www.australianarchaeologicalassociation.com.au/ANCATL
Workshop 2 also took up a number of the concerns expressed by colleagues during the 2007 phase of the project, including collaboration, moderation of Honours and vocational initiatives.
Support for the project is provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training.
The Australian Archaeological Association also provides support, particularly through the work of ANCATL (Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning).
For further information:
Catherine Clarke, Project Manager, Email: email@example.com
5th Biennial Fields of Conflict Conference Ghent, Belgium
‘Find Fields of Conflict in the ‘Cockpit of Europe’
Friday 17th to Monday 20th October 2008
Meet in Ghent, Belgium, for ththis leading international conference on battlefield and conflict archaeology.
The region of Flanders, Belgium has been Europe’s ‘Blood Alley’ from medieval times to the 20th century. Near to Ghent are the lines of the First World War western front and the sites of many major battles. Take this opportunity to also be part of the commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the battle of Oudenaarde with a visit to the battlefield and the major exhibition celebrating Marlborough’s victory.
Full details, including programme, accommodation options, optional tours and registration form, at:.
Clyde Hostetter, Professor Emeritus, California (USA) Polytechnic State University has a small copper bowl that he purchased in an open air suq in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1976. It had a heavy later of patina that he cleaned off, not realizing that the bowl’s inscriptions probably has the earliest non-cuneiform record of astronomical planetary movements and eclipse prediction. The bowl’s provenance appears to be the Bronze Age. In 1991 he authored a book decoding the inscribed symbols and several of his articles on the subject have appeared in astronomical magazines.
Over the past 32 years Hostetter has made three different offers to return the bowl to Saudi Arabia but has not received a response. Recently he offered the bowl to the Penn Museum in Philadelphia (USA) to add to their Middle Eastern antiquities collection. However, museum staff advised him that they could not accept the bowl because it was taken from Saudi Arabia after 1970.
Professor Hostetter would like to loan or donate the bowl to a museum or other reputable institution in any country to ensure its care and perhaps undertake further research on its features. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Spring, PhD student at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus (email@example.com), has been exploring the use of mid range laser scanning in archaeology since May 2006. The “time of flight” laser scanner allows for the rapid acquisition of spatial information on site and in real time to an accuracy of +/- 5mm and at a rate of approximately 2800 points a second. A 3D point cloud of information is generated that contains local x, y, z co-ordinates, as well as colours from the surface of the object taken with an internal camera. All information can be put into an external grid system, modelled or used to determine 2D elevation. Such high definition survey allows archaeologists to record and preserve sites at a particular moment in time in digital format.
At Present, Adam is working with Dr Caradoc Peters (University of Plymouth), Dr Andy Wetherelt (Camborne School of Mines) and Tom Minns (Camborne School of Mines) on the Digital Archaeology Virtual Environment project (DAVE). DAVE is dedicated to the increased development and awareness of digital data capture and visualisation techniques for preserving cultural heritage. They will also be working closely with the inventor of the laser scanner – Ben Kacyra – and the CyArk Foundation (CyArk.org). Further information can be viewed at:
The Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) March 2008
Paul Hubbard (Independent Archaeological Researcher, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Email for correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org) has reported on the biennial ASAPA Conference that included a half-day excursion to historical and archaeological sites in the Cape Town urban area.
Sessions included one on new research done on the Early and Middle Stone Age, a presentation of the new and exciting advances in the study of southern African hunter-gatherers, and new perspectives on the adoption of food production in the region. A general session on archaeology in southern Africa showcased the true diversity of regional archaeological endeavours. Two sessions focused on interactions between diverse populations in prehistory, mainly within the last 500 years. Importantly, a Cultural Resource Management section was organised, providing the burgeoning grey literature a more public forum, and for the first time, a session on GIS technologies and their archaeological application was held. A personal highlight was the chance to attend the 5th Glynn Isaac Memorial Lecture by Robert Foley, which discus
sed Isaac’s influence on our understanding of evolutionary prehistory.
Perhaps most significantly, a resolution was adopted at the end of the conference, to embrace the concept of “transformation”. Focusing exclusively on South Africa, “the Transformation Charter for Archaeology” is “aimed initially at transforming South African archaeology, primarily in terms of fostering and sustaining more archaeologists from underrepresented groups.” Among other things, the resolution aims to remove discrimination on any grounds and promote diversity in archaeological practice, promote awareness of archaeological activities, and to encourage archaeologists to implement common archaeological training systems and common archaeological standards.
‘HERITAGE CHAT’, 14-16 November, UCL: The annual CHAT (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory) conference will this year take place at University College London, between 14-16 November, hosted by Atkins Heritage, English Heritage and UCL Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture. CHAT is a dynamic forum for innovative critical discussion that seeks to challenge and push the limits of archaeological thinking. To date this has been achieved through five annual conferences, publications and an active email discussion group. This year’s conference takes CHAT in a new direction, exploring connections between theoretical perspectives and ideals and the more traditional concerns of heritage management practice. What can CHAT offer heritage practitioners, and vice versa? How much of heritage management practice holds relevance to CHAT?
Papers are encouraged that challenge the very notion of heritage, and the commercial and corporate strategies that go with it, as are papers describing work on contemporary and historical archaeology that operate within more conventional heritage frameworks. Short (450 word) abstracts should be submitted to any of the organising committee (below) by email, by the end of May 2008.
Charlotte Frearson (email@example.com)
Sarah May (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hilary Orange (email@example.com)
Sefryn Penrose (Sefryn.firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Schofield (email@example.com)
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA
ZARIA CONFERENCE LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE
C/O DEPARTMENT OF ARCHAEOLOGY
AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS
The 20th annual conference of the Archaeological Association of Nigeria is taking place at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria.
CONFERENCE DATE: October 6th – 9th 2008.
Abstracts relevant to the conference theme/sub-themes should not exceed 300 words and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before July 31st 2008.
THEME OF CONFERENCE:
80 Years of Archaeological Research in Nigeria.
Archaeological Education and Training in Nigeria
Archaeological Research in South Southern Nigeria
Archaeological Research in South Eastern Nigeria
Archaeological Research in South Western Nigeria
Archaeological Research in North Western Nigeria
Archaeological Research in North Central Nigeria
Archaeological Research in North Eastern Nigeria
The Keynote address will be presented by Professor C. A. Folorunso from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, while lead papers will be presented on each of the sub -themes.
The final papers are expected not later than September 25, 2008 in the electronic form. They should be sent to email@example.com. Presenters should come along with thirty five hard copies of their papers to the conference venue. These shall be collected at the point of registration. Each article should be typed one and half spaced and with ample margins on A4 paper and the font size should be 12, Times New Romans. All articles to be presented should adopt the latest APA style of citation and referencing. The title of the article, author’s name and address should appear on a separate title page. Tables, figures and diagrams where applicable should be simple and camera ready.
To be eligible to participate, you will be expected to pay the following fees
1 Conference Registration – N5, 000.00
2. Annual Membership Registration – N5, 000.00.
The Local Organising Committee will not be able to provide accommodation to participants. However, arrangements are being made to get rebate from leading Hotels in Zaria for interested participants. Hotel rates in Zaria are between N2, 000.00 and N5, 000.00 per night. Additional information shall be provided in subsequent announcements.
For inquiries, please contact:
Obituary: Dr Marika
Lyndon Ormond-Parker has advised us of the untimely passing of Dr Marika on Sunday, 11th May.
Dr Marika worked tirelessly for Aboriginal people. In 2006 she was awarded the Territory Australian of the Year and made Justice of the Peace for North East Arnhem Land. She was a Director of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and a member of the Board of Reconciliation Australia. She had authored a number of works about Aboriginal education, focusing on bi-lingual education. Dr Marika was a rare person, working on a national level while also giving of her time and knowledge in her own community. Formerly a teacher at Yirrkala School, she had recently been working at the Knowledge Centre in that community.
She will be remembered for many things; especially her passion for assisting young Aboriginal Australians to live as proud ambassadors of their culture. Her passing is a great loss for all Australians.
New From Left Coast Press, Inc.
WAC members receive a 20% discount on hardcovers and a 30% discount on paperbacks (insert discount code L187 at checkout)
Come visit us at WAC-6 in Dublin! We are looking forward to seeing you!
From the One Word Archaeology Series…
Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, and IdentityInés Domingo Sanz, Dánae Fiore, and Sally K. May, edsJUST RELEASED! Published May 2008, 280 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
This international volume draws together key research that examines visual arts of the past and contemporary indigenous societies. Placing each art style in its temporal and geographic context, the contributors show how depictions represent social mechanisms of identity construction, and how stylistic differences in product and process serve to reinforce cultural identity. Examples stretch from the Paleolithic to contemporary world and include rock art, body art, and portable arts. Ethnographic studies of contemporary art production and use, such as among contemporary Aboriginal groups, are included to help illuminate artistic practices and meanings in the past. The volume reflects the diversity of approaches used by archaeologists to incorporate vi
sual arts into their analysis of past cultures and should be of great value to archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians.
These titles should be available at WAC-6 in Dublin…
Living under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions
John Grattan and Robin Torrence, eds.
JUST RELEASED! Published March 2008, 416 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Landscapes of Clearance: Archaeological and Anthropological PerspectivesAngèle Smith and Amy Gazin-Schwartz, eds.Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 304 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Kennewick Man: Perspectives on the Ancient One
Heather Burke, Claire Smith, Dorothy Lippert, Joe Watkins, and Larry Zimmerman, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages, $65.00 Hardcover
Handbook of Landscape Archaeology
Bruno David and Julian Thomas, eds.Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 720 pages, $129.00 Hardcover
Watch for these titles…
Underwater and Maritime Archaeology in Latin America and the Caribbean
Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton and Pilar Luna Erreguerena, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication July 2008, 320 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, Memories, and Engagement in Native North America Patricia E. Rubertone, EditorComing Soon! Expected publication July 2008, 288 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Managing Archaeological Resources: Global Context, National Programs, Local ActionsFrancis P McManamon, Andrew Stout, and Jodi A. Barnes, eds.Coming Soon! Expected publication July 2008, 320 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
This is a sampling of WAC-sponsored titles. To order or for more information on additional WAC-sponsored titles, visit our website at:
For more information, contact Caryn Berg at archaeology@LCoastPress.com
6 (a) SALON
Salon 190: 9 June 2008
Editor: Christopher Catling
Stonehenge ‘a royal cemetery’
Carbon dates have recently been revealed from the 2007 Stonehenge Riverside Project carried out by Mike Parker Pearson and his colleagues from the five universities (Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cardiff)(see the Sheffield University website).
Five of the dates, obtained from samples of bone from the Stonehenge area, date from the third millennium BC, and three from the Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age and late Roman period.
The earliest date of 3030-2880 BC came from the lower fill of Aubrey Hole 32, and provides a terminus ante quem for the Aubrey Holes, hitherto undated, placing them as part of the monument’s initial construction (3015–2935 BC). The second in chronological order dates from 2930–2870 BC, shortly after the initial construction. And two others date from 2890–2630 BC and 2880–2570 BC, falling within the period before the sarsen stones were erected. Stonehenge´s ditch was then partially re-cut during the period 2560–2140 BC and the third cremation burial was placed in this new ditch in 2570–2340 BC, within or after the period when the sarsens were erected.
Mike has interpreted this data as meaning that Stonehenge was in use as a burial ground throughout the third millennium BC, and not just in the early period (the 28th and 27th centuries BC). Forty-nine other cremation burials have been excavated from Stonehenge in the past and were reburied in 1935 (half of which came from the Aubrey Holes and half from the upper fills of the ditch) and the estimated total number of third millennium burials at Stonehenge is 240; that makes Stonehenge the biggest cemetery of its time, larger than fourteen other comparable cemeteries known elsewhere in Britain from this period. These figures represent an average of one person every two years for a period of around 500 years, suggesting that the people buried here might have come from a small and select population; burial at Stonehenge might have been reserved for members of an elite dynasty of rulers. ‘I don’t think it was the common people getting buried at Stonehenge,’ Mike said: ‘it was clearly a special place at the time’.
Salon 189: 26 May 2008
Seaweed dates for first Americans
The last issue of Salon reported the dating of human faeces from caves in Oregon to 14,300 before the present; now similar dates have come from masticated seaweed found at Monte Verde, in southern Chile. The seaweed samples were dated to between 14,220 and 13,980 before the present. These and the Oregon dates confirm that humans were living in America more than 1,000 years earlier than Clovis-site dates would suggest, and that the Pacific Coast was an early migration route.
The site is being excavated by a team of anthropologists, geologists and botanists and headed by Tom Dillehay. When Dillehay and his colleagues first reported in 1979 that bones and charcoal found at Monte Verde returned dates of more than 14,000 years before the present, sceptical archaeologists argued that the carbonised material resulted from a natural forest fire or lightening strike, because it contradicted the prevailing belief that human colonisation of the Americas began about 13,000 years ago.
The Monte Verde dates are even more significant in that they come from a settlement, rather than a shelter. Discovered in 1976, the Monte Verde site, 500 miles south of Santiago, includes the well-preserved remains of a dozen huts located along a stream. The implication is that this is a mature site, and that humans could have been in the Americas much longer, but that rising sea levels (up to 200 feet higher today) have drowned early coastal settlements.
Dillehay said the Monte Verdeans were exploiting marine and inland resources: a total of nine different species of seaweed and algae have been found at the site, as have shellfish, flat beach pebbles, water plants from brackish estuaries and bitumen; but the diet also included inland species, including the now-extinct elephant-like gomphothere, a species of llama, vegetables and nuts. Many of the seaweed fragments were found in areas used for cooking, suggesting that the plants were eaten. Others were mixed with plants and chewed into cuds, which may have been used as medicines.
Lapita shell jewellery found in Fiji
Patrick Nunn, Professor of Oceanic Geoscience at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, announced that his excavation at Bourewa Beach, on the south-western coast of Viti Levu, has revealed stilt houses built out into the sea and quantities of Lapita-style decorated pottery, stone tools and jewellery. The jewellery, a cache of nine shell rings of different sizes, four shell bracelets and six necklace pieces complete with drill holes, was found under an upturned pot. Peter Shepphard, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Auckland University, described the finds as ‘extraordinary’ and suggests the site might have been a manufacturing centre for shell jewellery.
The Lapita, the first colonisers of the South Pacific, are believed to have migrated eastward from the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea to Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands and other Pacific islands from around 800 BC. The Bourewa Beach settlement dates from this migration period, and is the earliest yet uncovered in Fiji by about 200 years. Nunn said the Lapita disappear from the archaeological record as a distinctive cultural group on Fiji after about 550 BC, suggesting that early settlers brought sophisticated skills from their Bismarck Archipelago homeland area that were important to their identity, but that c
eased to be so over the course of time.
Bust of Caesar found in the Rhône
French archaeological diver Luc Long has found a marble bust of Julius Caesar on the bed of the River Rhône in Arles. It is believed the lifelike head, showing a balding man in his fifties with wrinkles, a prominent Adam’s apple and a high and wide forehead, dates from 46 BC, two years before his assassination.
Michel L’Hour, director of the underwater architecture institute at Marseilles, said: ‘It is very realistic. Not at all prettified. Caesar’s features are hard and ageing. That makes it remarkable. It is much more human than the stereotypical statues which show him with laurel crowns. It is the oldest bust we have of Caesar and it was doubtless sculpted to honour him as the patron and founder of the town of Arles. The Caesar bust may have been on display in a public institution or in a patrician villa. One can imagine that with the assassination of Caesar, they tried to get rid of it quickly by throwing it into the river because he had become an embarrassing person to venerate.’
The bust will go on display in Arles museum in September 2009.
Salon 188: 12 May 2008
UNESCO Cultural Heritage Laws Database
UNESCO has launched a new online database of cultural heritage laws around the world. Relevant statutes are available for consultation in their original languages and in their official English-language translations. To date, 757 legislative measures, from 113 UNESCO Member States, have been published on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Laws Database, which has been created to aid international efforts to stem looting, theft and illicit trafficking in cultural property. UNESCO claims that the database will ‘make it harder for traffickers to claim to be ignorant of the law and thus of the illegal nature of what they are doing’.
News round up
Human faeces excavated from a cave system in Oregan, USA, have been dated to 14,300 years ago, and provide the first secure evidence for humans living on the American continent at that date, some 1,200 years before the Clovis culture. DNA analysis confirmed that the cave dwellers were of Asian origin. The Bering Strait land bridge was under ice at that time, so the Oregon cave dwellers must either have arrived by boat, or even earlier. The excavation team, from the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History, also found sinew and plant fibre threads, hide, basketry, cordage, rope, wooden pegs, animal bones and two forms of projectile point fragments in the Paisley Cave system. For more on this see the Eureka Alert website.
On the opposite side of the Bering Strait, at Un’en’en, near the modern whaling village of Nunligran on the Chukotka Peninsula in Russia’s far east, a Russian–American research team has found a prehistoric whaling settlement and a remarkable piece of ivory, approximately 0.5m long, carved with scenes of people in boats harpooning whales. The carving was found beneath the wooden roof of a building dated to 3,000 years ago. For more on this see the University of Alaska Fairbank website.
A 4,000-year-old nine-bead necklace from a site near Lake Titicaca, in southern Peru, is described by its finder, Professor Mark Aldenderfer of the University of Arizona, Tucson, as the oldest known worked gold artefact ever uncovered in the Americas, and the first evidence of the emergence of an elite stratum of society in the Americas. The necklace was buried in the grave of an adult skull of indeterminate sex in a burial pit next to a dwelling at Jiskairumoko, a hamlet that was settled from 3300 to 1500 BC. Radiocarbon dating of nearby material places the necklace’s origin at roughly 2100 BC.
A first-century AD Roman altar inscribed ‘To the mother goddesses Hananeftis and Ollototis, Aelius Victor willingly and deservedly fulfils a vow’ has been found during excavations in Manchester. Archaelogist Norman Redhead said: Aelius Victor may have been a centurion commander posted from Germany, where worship of Hananeftis and Ollototis originates.’ The find site is not far from the fort and civilian settlement of Mamuciam, Manchester’s Roman predecessor.
In Gloucester a Roman mass grave has been found, containing the remains of ninety-one men, women and children, believed to be the victims of an outbreak of disease in the second century. Brooches found in the pit date from the second half of the second century AD. ‘This ties in with an outbreak of the Antonine Plague [AD 165 to 189], which was probably smallpox’, said Project Officer Andrew Simmonds.
6 (b) ICOMOS
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 339
The 4Rs Conference – Rights, Reconciliation, Respect, Responsibility, Sydney September-October 2008
The 4Rs Conference
Rights, Reconciliation, Respect, Responsibility
Planning for a socially inclusive future for Australia
Sydney, 30 September – 3 October 2008
The 4Rs frame Australia’s future as a cosmopolitan civil society. This conference comes at a critical time for Australia, when the opportunities and desire for change abound, yet older fears still persist.
The 4Rs explore the internal debates and the relationships between crucial social, political and cultural questions, with their relevance to public policy, community development and societal cohesion.
The conference is designed around the four themes and their interaction – human rights, Indigenous advancement, inter-communal relations, and active citizenship.
Further information, call for papers, panel proposals, registration, location & program:
Conference website: www.The4RsConference.org
Conference Convener: Professor Andrew Jakubowicz, Convener@The4RsConference.org
Conference Secretary: Maqsood Alshams, Secretary@The4RsConference.org
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 337
Postgraduate MSc Cultural Heritage Studies at Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow Caledonian University is now inviting applications to join its postgraduate MSc Cultural Heritage Studies (full and part-time study available), starting in late September 2008.
An exciting and unique learning experience in cultural heritage and the historic environment, with the opportunity to undertake study with a leading team at GCU in the Cultural Business Group. Following its successful launch in 2005, applicants are encouraged to apply for the next annual intake onto this innovative course.
Limited number of Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) studentships are available to relevant applicants; £1000 Caledonian Business School Scholarships are also available to overseas applicants.
For further information on the MSc Cultural Heritage Studies course please contact the Course Administrator, Ms Debbie Hossick – email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full course brochure available on the course website: http://www.heritagefutures.net/study
University website: http://www.caledonian.ac.uk .
ICCROM’s training course on Conservation of Built Heritage – Application deadline: 31 July 2008
ICCROM is pleased to announce that the training Course on Conservation of Built Heritage will be h
eld in Rome from 2 March – 30 April 2009.
ICCROM is interested in inviting applications from mid-career professionals and other decision makers in conservation, with at least four years of experience, from different disciplines (architects, archaeologists, engineers, planners, site managers, etc.), either in a position to influence practice or having the potential to do so in the short or medium term.
The course is open to a maximum of 20 participants with at least four years of experience actively involved in the conservation of built heritage. Mid-career professionals and other decision makers in conservation from different disciplines (architects, archaeologists, engineers, planners, site managers, etc.), either in a position to influence practice or having the potential to do so in the short or medium term, are eligible. Those in a position to carry the messages of the course to a broad audience (for example, trainers who are able to reach a large audience over time) are encouraged to apply. Course fee: EUR 900. Candidates must have strong communication and writing skills in English. A certificate of language may be requested.
Please fill the ICCROM application form (obtainable from ICCROM web site www.iccrom.org) and send it together with the following by mail to the contact address below:
A full professional curriculum vitae (in English)
A brief report (3-5 pages) answering the following questions:
1. Describe a conservation project for which you are or have been actively involved. Include the appropriate contextual background (objectives, partners, support, etc.), a description of difficulties encountered, and the strategic responses developed.
2. In addition to the project described above, what other case studies might you be able to share during your participation in the course?
3. What do you consider as your major achievement in the field of conservation of immovable cultural heritage?
Applications should reach ICCROM by 31 July 2008 to ensure inclusion in our selection process.
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 336
ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) – Call for Expressions of Interest: 11th Terra Conference
The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) is issuing a Call for Expressions of Interest to find organisations and countries to promote, host, run and administer the next international conference known as “Terra”. The Terra conference, which occurs every three to five years approximately, is an international conference whose theme relates to the study and conservation of earthen architectural, archaeological and cultural landscape heritage. Terra 2008 took place in Bamako, Mali, lasted five days, was followed by post-conference tours, and was attended by approximately 450 people. The next Terra conference will be scheduled for 2012 so as not to coincide with the 17th ICOMOS General Assembly in 2011.
If anyone would like to see the document detailing the process and requirements for Expressions of Interest, it can be sent by email on request from the Australia ICOMOS Secretariat (email@example.com ).
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 335
Scholarships for the Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions
Applications for the Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions, approved and financially sponsored by the Consortium are open.
This Masters Course is organized by a consortium of leading European Universities/Research Institutions in the field, composed by University of Minho (coordinating institution, Portugal), the Technical University of Catalonia (Spain), the Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), the University of Padua (Italy) and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic). The course is due to start in October 2008 and will combine the most recent advances in research and development with practical applications.
A significant number of scholarships, ranging from 4000 to 14000 Euro, are available to students of any nationality. All applications received within the application deadline, i.e. no later than 31 May 2008, are also considered as applications to scholarships.
Please find full details on the MSc programme, as well as electronic application procedure, on the website: http://www.msc-sahc.org/.
Paulo B. Lourenço
Editor of the International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis, and Restoration
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 334
2009 International Conference of National Trusts, Dublin, Ireland
The dates of the 2009 International Conference of National Trusts have been announced. Hosted by An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland, the Conference will take place in Dublin from Sunday 13 – Thursday 17 September 2009.
Sunday will be for arrivals and registration followed by a welcome reception. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be working sessions in Dublin Castle, interspersed with local site visits. The Conference will close formally on Thursday when delegates will have the option to enjoy longer site visits.
Conservation of Art Heritage and Heritage Education Workshop
Following on from the achievements of the 12th ICNT and the recommendations emerging from the Conference, INTACH are now organising a smaller Conference aimed at Asian participation which will focus on two specific areas – Conservation of Art Heritage and Heritage Education. Accordingly, it will be named Asian Regional Cooperation in Heritage Conservation of Art Heritage & Heritage Education, and will be held in New Delhi from December 2 – 4, 2008.
The choice of subject areas as well as the geographical range of invited countries has been determined by several factors. These include the richness and variety of Asian art and natural heritage; the historic and cultural linkages within the region leading to shared traditions; and the many traditional conservation and education methods across the continent, part of the intangible heritage of Asia, some parts of which are alive even today.
INTACH are seeking to invite experts in these fields to participate in two simultaneous panel sessions, one of which will deal with conservation (including of varied materials such as wood, metal, stone, painting, etc) and the other with heritage education.
The idea is to enable meetings, networking, building partnerships and the exchange of ideas and best practices towards creating an Asian regional platform for conservators, archaeologists, artists, educationists and teachers. The goal is that of developing strategies based on Asian regional cooperation, much-needed in the context of heritage conservation and education.
Please contact AshaRani Mathur, firstname.lastname@example.org, at INTACH for further information.
6 (c) Prehistory Society of Zimbabwe
PSZ Newsletter 136
Professor claims to have discovered Ark of the Covenant
Abbreviated from Medianews, Sunday 3 March 2008
In a newly released book, The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500 Year Old Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark, Professor Tudor Parfitt claims he has discovered the genuine Ark of the Covenant or at least a direct descendant of the vessel constructed to hold the original tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Parfitt claims to have located the treasured artefact on a dusty shelf of an out-of-the-way museum in Harare, Zimbabwe. “It was just by chance that I finally managed to track it down to a storeroom in Harare, was able to analyze it and discover that quite apart from anything else, it’s quite probably the oldest wooden object in sub-Sahara Africa,” said Parfitt, an expert in Oriental and African Studies. “It’s massively important in terms of history, even apart from its status as the last surviving link to the original Ark of Moses.”
In his book, Parfitt provides genetic evidence confirming claims by the Lemba tribe that they are descendants of ancient Israelite priests, the caretakers of the lost Ark. Among a host of similarities with the Israelites, the Lemba priests have been the guardians of the ngoma lungundu, a sacred but unassuming wooden drum they say came from the “great temple in Jerusalem.” Based on radiocarbon testing dating it to 1350 A.D., Parfitt believes a replacement was constructed from a piece of the original ngoma, which legend says destroyed itself or was destroyed in a pyrotechnic explosion. While the ngoma is still stored at the museum in Harare, Parfitt is concerned the highly valuable artefact may once again disappear in a nation plagued by violence and corruption.
Next issue: August 2008